Cell phones have become such a crucial part of our lives that people are often unable to go 5 minutes without picking up their phones and fiddling with it. In fact, this is one of the reasons for the recent high rates of distracted driving and their resultant tragedies.
A 2017 estimate by the NHTSA showed that distracted driving was directly responsible for the death of almost 3200 people. That’s 3200 people too many. These deaths could have probably been prevented if the persons that caused them were paying attention.
The CDC also states that every day, 9 people lose their lives, while another 1,000 people sustain injuries because people are distracted behind the wheels. These are very alarming stats and one that most people need to start paying attention to.
The good news is that many states have started implementing distracted driving laws to help curb the use of cell phones while driving.
Not that it’s helped much on interstate routes, considering that the NHTSA estimates that 481,000 drivers across the US use their cellphones while driving.
If you must call, talk or text, you’ll need to either pull over and do your texting or use a hands-free device to talk while driving.
The Stats on Phone Usage While Driving
The National Safety Council states that using the phone behind the wheel causes about 1.6 million crashes every year. These are all avoidable auto crashes that could have been prevented if the drivers had not been fiddling with their phones.
Currently, it’s estimated that 25 percent of all accidents in the US are caused by people who were texting while they were driving. Interestingly 3 out of 4 road users support a ban on phone usage or handling while driving.
These are very alarming stats that all road users need to take very seriously.
Texting Distracts Drivers
This is particularly common among teenagers. Unfortunately, they’re not the only ones guilty of this. Many adults routinely do this while they’re behind the wheels, completely forgetting that they’re putting themselves and the lives of others at risk.
It’s been estimated that people who text while behind the wheels are six times more likely to cause accidents than those who are driving under the influence of alcohol.
Remember that driving under the influence of alcohol or any other drug substances (DUI) is already a felony charge in most states. And these people routinely cause severe accidents that often requires the services of at least one Personal Injury Lawyer New York City.
And it’s not just that. Studies have shown that if you’re driving at 55mph and take your eyes off the road for just 5 seconds, you’d have driven the length of a football field by the time you look up again.
Imagine just how much carnage you’d have caused if there were people, traffic jams and obstacles in your path. That is very scary. Texting while driving means more time with your eyes off the road, and an exponentially higher risk of you getting an accident.
Texting while driving is the most dangerous activity that you could do while you’re behind the wheels. You really should stop it. Otherwise, you’ll end up putting your life, that of your loved ones and other road users’ lives in jeopardy.
Phone Calls Can Impair Your Ability to React Quickly
While texting is horrible and a major activity to be avoided when you’re driving, receiving phone calls is bad too. It may not be as bad or as terrible as texting, but it’s enough to distract you from paying 100 percent attention to the road.
It only takes a second for you to lose control on the road, for some moron to do a brake check in the middle of a busy highway, and for some other person to veer into your lane.
The one second can be the difference between you avoiding a ghastly or fatal accident and being the victim of one. Phone calls are dangerous because people tend to become somewhat blind when they have their phones to their ears.
A study about the impact of phone calls on attention was carried out in a train station. The participants were on the phone while the psychologists sent out clowns riding unicycles and making a ruckus at the station.
After their phone calls, they were asked if they noticed anything untoward whole they were on the phone. All respondents said no. And when they told what to look for, they clearly didn’t remember seeing clowns on unicycles.
The point is, all road users need to avoid phone calls with their phones to their ears. In fact, some states -16 plus the US Virgin Islands, District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico- have already placed a ban on this. Also, 47 states have banned driving while texting. But we can do more. Let’s keep the roads safe and the accidents less. Drive carefully, and pay more attention. Safe travels.